City Explorations: Surprise, Arizona

How Did I Get There?

Elizabeth and I flew American Airlines from Omaha to Phoenix. The tickets were $450 each because I booked them well into their peak travel season. If you can get there at the end of February you can probably save around $150. We also experienced one HELL of delay, but I'll have more details on that later...

All set for the trip to Phoenix!

Where Did I Stay?

I stayed at my Dad’s apartment in Stadium Village. Since he works for the Royals they get their own place for the length of Spring Training.

The Stadium Village

The Stadium Village

What Did I See?

My first day in town my Mom, Elizabeth, and I went to White Tank Mountain Regional Park. White Tank is known for it's ancient petroglyphs that are carved into many of the rock faces. White Tank is also home to over 30 miles of mixed use trails and picnic areas.

White Tank Mountain Regional Park

White Tank Mountain Regional Park

On Sunday I visited my grandparents at their RV resort in Sun City, AZ. They live in your prototypical snowbird community with happy retired people everywhere! My grandparents have a tangelo tree on their lot so it's tradition to pick some fresh tangelos when you visit them. If you’re wondering what a tangelo is, it's just a mix between a tangerine and an orange. I think they taste like a normal orange, but they're one of the juiciest fruits I've ever eaten.

Toting my nifty fruit picker

Our spoils

After spending some time with my grandparents I went to the Royals vs. Dodgers spring training game. Elizabeth had never been to the Royals spring training complex so my Mom and I showed her around and enjoyed a beautiful afternoon of baseball.

Kansas City Royals spring training

Kansas City Royals spring training

Kansas City Royals spring training

Monday morning Elizabeth and I were scheduled to fly out of Phoenix at 6:00 pm so we decided to get up extra early and hike Piestewa Peak. My Mom and I hiked the Summit Trail a few years ago but wanted to show Elizabeth the views it offers of downtown Phoenix. I’ll warn you though, this trail isn’t for the faint of heart.

Piestewa Peak, Phoenix

Piestewa Peak has an elevation of 2,598 feet which is the second highest point in Phoenix behind Camelback Mountain. You gain about 1,168 ft of elevation in just 1.2 miles. The terrain is extremely rugged with lots of jutting rocks and high steps. I cranked it out in my trusty Chuck Taylors, but I’d probably suggest some better footwear.

Piestewa Peak, Phoenix

Piestewa Peak, Phoenix

Where Did I Eat?

As for local Surprise, Arizona cuisine we went to a couple different places. Per tradition, my first meal was at In-N-Out burger. You don’t go to Arizona and not get In-N-Out, It's the law.

In-N-Out is life.

Saturday Night my family and I met up with some friends at one of our favorite places in Surprise, Streets of New York. I know it’s an odd name for an Arizona pizza place, but they’ve got GREAT pizza.

Streets of New York. Surprise, AZ

Sunday morning we met my grandparents for breakfast at Biscuits Café. They’ve got your traditional breakfast menu with some added sweet options. I stuck with the tried and true steak and eggs.

Biscuits Cafe. Surprise, AZ

Biscuits Cafe. Surprise, AZ

 Elizabeth did step out of her comfort zone and got the sweet potato pancakes. They were delicious! There wasn’t an overwhelming sweet potato flavor, but just a hint of sweetness.

Biscuits Cafe. Surprise, AZ

After my hike up Piestewa Peak we drove to Scottsdale for a late breakfast. We walked by this place called the Daily Dose that looked quite popular so we gave it a shot. They had a great brunch selection and everything on the menu sounded delicious. I got the steak and potato bowl with toast. Once again I enjoyed every bite. I’ll be making a return trip to the Daily Dose if I’m ever back in Scottsdale.

Daily Dose. Scottsdale, AZ

Daily Dose. Scottsdale, AZ

For my last meal and in Arizona, Elizabeth and I went to our favorite burger place in Phoenix’s airport, Modern Burger. It’s located between gates A4 and A5 in terminal 4. As far as we know it’s the only location they have. Their burgers are so tasty and they’ve got the best vanilla shake around. When you pair the two together it’s a match made in heaven.

Modern Burger at Phoenix Sky Harbor

Modern Burger at Phoenix Sky Harbor

All-In-All

It was a short, but sweet trip. I got to see my Dad, Mom, grandparents and even show Elizabeth around the great state of Arizona. Surprise will always hold a special place in my heart because of the amount of trips I’ve taken there. I can’t speak on behalf of the summer, but a visit to Surprise in March is one of the best things you can do.

Who else has been to Surprise, Arizona?